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Homosexuals and Fundamentalists
Christian Fundamentalists take the Bible literally when it says that homosexuality is a sin and worthy of death - either physical death as described in the Old Testament, or eternal torture (damnation) as described in the New Testament (see supporting verses below). What's more, they view this extreme condemnation of homosexuality as God's 'perfect justice'. Yet these same Fundamentalists also believe that God created each of us, including homosexuals, just as we are. In order to believe that homosexuality is worthy of death and eternal torture, and that God created each of us as we are, they have to believe that homosexuality is a free choice. This conviction is apparent in the voracity with which Fundamentalists reject out of hand the growing body of scientific evidence that homosexuality is a genetic predisposition. If they did not believe that homosexuality is a free choice, then they would have to concede that their God is a cruel God. In other words, they would have to concede that God purposefully created homosexuals in a way that they would be genetically predisposed to commit a sinful act that would condemn them to death and eternal torment.
Unlike Fundamentalists who spend their energy defending their a priori position, that homosexuality is a free choice, the scientific community bases its conclusions on the best available evidence. As new evidence continues to surface, science takes it into account. Science is concerned with learning and discovering; Fundamentalism is concerned with preserving a priori beliefs, despite conflicting evidence.
In August of 1991, neuroscientist Simon LeVay published in the magazine, Science, findings from autopsies of men and women of known sexual preference. He found that the interstitial nucleus of the anterior hypothalamus (a part of the brain) was substantially smaller in nineteen gay men who died from AIDS than among sixteen heterosexual men. The observation that the male brain could take two different forms, depending on one's sexual preference, was a stunning discovery.
Shang-Ding Zhang and Ward F. Odenwald found that homosexual behavior in Drosophila (fruit flies) could be induced by techniques that abnormally activated a gene called "w" (short for "white" because of its effect on eye color). They speculate that the activation produces a shortage of serotonin in the brain. Cats, rabbits, and rats all show some elements of homosexual behavior when their brain serotonin concentrations fall.
Deam Hamer's Oct 2003 study showed that the Xq28 region of the X chromosome can cause a propensity towards homosexuality. Researchers at the University of Texas found structural differences in the inner ears between lesbians and heterosexual women. Researchers of the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden, used PET scans to show that homosexual males' reactions to male and female sex hormones was closer to the reaction of straight females than the reaction of straight males.
The list goes on.
Did a cruel God predestined certain people to execution (in the Old Testament) or eternal torture (in the New Testament) by creating them with a predisposition toward homosexuality, or is the Fundamentalist, literal interpretation of the Bible undermined by the evidence?
Further ReadingReligiousTolerance.org: The Bible and Homosexuality
Frontline: Assault on Gay America